All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes

I understand the need for a good bargain — but when Lucas told me he planned to dominate the all-you-can-eat pancakes at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill in DeLeon Springs, Florida, I knew we might be in for trouble.

DeLeon Springs 12

The day started innocently enough…I went for a long bike ride, hoping to burn off some calories and make room for the smorgasbord. Then, we joined our friends Jim and Jackie, along with 2-year-old E, for a short car ride up to the springs. We unpacked and hit the water.

It actually felt like we hit it, too, since it was a frigid 70-something degrees. I stuck it out for about 5 minutes before getting out and retreating to my towel. BRRRR.

Lucas and Jim were braver, getting some snorkel masks out for adventuring.

DeLeon Springs 08

There was about an hour wait for the restaurant, so we put our names in and figured we’d have some time to kill in the water, but after only about 20 minutes, this:

DeLeon Springs 02turned into this:

DeLeon Springs 11

Rain! Buckets and buckets of it! We did our best to hide under the cover of trees, until finally we heard our names called and we took shelter in the mill. Then, it was time to take action on the all-you-can-eat spread.

First choice? Regular or 5-grain batter. You can probably guess which one I chose.

DeLeon Springs 20

From there, we were shown how to turn on the in-table griddle, and instructed to pour as many pancakes as we’d like. We also got some toppings to drop in, including blueberries, chocolate chips and applesauce. So, this: DeLeon Springs 13

became this: DeLeon Springs 14

and some of this: DeLeon Springs 16

And, as predicted, lots of this: DeLeon Springs 17

DeLeon Springs 18

It was a very cool experience, and since I’d just heard rave reviews about TOSM from Jane and Michael Stern, I was very glad to get to try it for myself.

DeLeon Springs 21

Of course, as soon as we finished eating, the rain started back up, so we called it a day — a very good one! Lucas spent the rest of the night clutching his stomach, lamenting his lack of self-control, but I have to say…he did dominate that bad boy.

If you could add anything to your pancakes — what would it be? (Me: blueberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter and maple syrup. maybe some bananas nom nom nom)

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  1. says

    Wow that looks so awesome! I’ve never seen a place where they give you a griddle to make your own pancakes. Recently I’ve been loving chiacakes, basically just pancakes with chia seeds but the chia seeds give them an awesome texture!

  2. says

    Holy crap!

    Why have I never heard of this place?!?! next time you guys go can I come too?!?! pretty please. Pretty, pretty please?!?!?

    • says

      I promise to let you know when we go back — it was a blast, and if the weather had held up, we would have made a whole day of it. The all-you-can-eat was only $5 (plus more for toppings)!

  3. says

    I just heard an interview with the Sterns on NPR yesterday! I thought their thoughts on food and it’s American history was so interesting.
    We have a make-your-own-pancake place here in Portland (w/vegan options of course!). I don’t think it’s all you can eat, but I still need to check it out. Yum!

    • says

      I found out about them by listening to A Splendid Table — they’re very cool. They do a lot of Pac-NW stuff, so I bet you can find more links on their site.

  4. Kate says

    I was there in February! It was freezing cold and there was still an hour wait and we really had to wait the whole time. I was visiting a friend in J-ville and she knew the way to show me a good time was manatees and all you can eat pancakes. I thought the 5 grain was the best and I ate way more than I care to admit.

  5. says

    My relatives would kill me if I didn’t answer maple syrup, more specifically the 100% pure maple syrup made in their own town that they bring us from time to time. Really, I love maple butter so much more, but that’s something to be mixed with peanut butter and spread on toast. It’s not good for pancakes like syrup is.

    • says


      Believe me, I understand the pull of maple syrup. My husband’s family (from NY) drinks it warm out of a glass! They bring us a beloved jar full once a year and we ration it.

  6. says

    This is a great concept. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer had this idea where the customers could bake their own pies. lol Anyway I had a snickers pancake (at Hash House a GO-Go) in Vegas and it was amazing

  7. says

    This just cracked me up! I could imagine my brother “dominating” at any all you can eat type of place. What a cool idea to make your own! I haven’t had real pancakes in well over a year *sigh*. There is a place in Chicago called Walker Brothers Pancake House. They have banana pancakes there that taste just like banana bread and they pour a tangerine sauce on them and powdered sugar and it’s heaven in my mouth. I miss them, but alas…I do South Beach and that just isn’t on my diet. haha! Looks like y’all had a good time! =)

  8. says

    wow, lots of rain! craziness. That looks like so much fun to make your own pancakes, I want to go! I would definitely add blueberries, naners and peanut butter. I’ve even made a spiced pumpkin ‘cream’ with greek yogurt :)

  9. kim says

    Nothing beats our family’s homemade because we start by grinding the wheat for fresh flour and that gives it such an awesome flavor to start off with. Anything else is just a bonus :)

  10. Heather says

    The Old Spanish Sugar Mill is awesome. I went last week with my husband, and we’re going back this Wednesday. I had total domination over the all you can eat pancakes. So worth it!

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